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Discussion Starter #1
I finally got a high F# out of my 1919 Buescher C. It's very strong and loud. I've always had problems getting D-F to speak. When I got the F# my F would squeak then the F# would squeak. I thought that I needed radically different embouchures for altissimo and regular notes, but as I carefully played back and forth between them I realized (for me) that my old approach to the upper register was not right. When I concieved of the F as an altissimo it spoke well and could be attacked without breaking up. So my goal now is to get an even timbre at the top (including altissimo) and then bring that focus down the horn.
What do you think?
 

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My advice would be not to think of them as altissimo notes requiring a totally different embouchure.
My altissimo was also learnt on a C tenor TT without front F; because of this I have never found the need to use front F although it is present on most of my horns...I now regard the altissimo as simply an extension of the range with no special prep required.
As a point of interest, what is your fingering for F#?
For me, the following works solidly:-
F# L/H 1 & 3, R/H 1 & low Eb (the low Eb simply brightens the note & is not vital)
G 1 & 3 1 + side C.
G# 2 & 3 side C
A 3 side C
A# 3 & palm D side C
In my experience it is useful to learn to hit these notes individually without taking a run-up to them.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I thought I posted a reply, but I got distracted and must of erased it. Anyway thanks for the reply. I think what I said is pretty much the same as what you said except maybe
bass-ackwards. I got the F# with the same fingering as you, but with the octave key added. I'll try to get the higher notes you suggest and let you know if it works. I will get them to speak without a run/arp up.
 

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Apologies...I took it as a given that the octave key was engaged throughout.
 

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Yes, it is useful on any sax to just slightly extend the range up to (sax) C4, without getting into cat-scaring or dog-calling territory...

Mouthpiece choice is very often a strong factor, the more traditional/gentle C mouthpieces don't always respond well outside the standard sax range, unless you're Sigurd Rascher. :mrgreen:
 

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Yes, it is useful on any sax to just slightly extend the range up to (sax) C4, without getting into cat-scaring or dog-calling territory...

Mouthpiece choice is very often a strong factor, the more traditional/gentle C mouthpieces don't always respond well outside the standard sax range, unless you're Sigurd Rascher. :mrgreen:
Very good point Dear Old Thing.
Despite the fact that some are capable of coaxing a decent sound out of one of the stuffy, farty old original mouthpiece, I cannot.
All my playing....with easy altissimo...is via a modern 0.115" tip high baffle tenor mouthpiece.
To compensate for the inherent stuffy sound (due to the bore/length ratio) of the C tenor, some of us find that a good solid "modern" sound is obtained from a mouthpiece which, on a Bb tenor, would open oysters at ten paces.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
As I stated last year in a thread about mouthpieces I currently use a SR Technologies Pro tenor piece which has a 0.108" tip and a medium baffle ( I got it cheap on eBay, not $300.00+).
My Yanagisawa tenor 9 which is 0.110" with a high baffle didn't work for me on the high notes let alone altissimo. That was last year, maybe my chops are strong enough for it now.
I just have to get it back from my fellow bandmate's wife who plays in a college band.
 

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I found that the altissimo range of my True Tone responds best if I treat it like an alto rather than a tenor, even though I use a tenor mouthpiece. The one exception to this is G, which requires either a very awkward fingering (1-3/1-- plus side Bb, alternate F# and low Eb) or the fingering normally reserved for G# (1-3/1-- and side C), lipped down to pitch. If I can just barely crack open the side C, then I don't have to lip it down THAT much but it still wants to run 30 cents or so sharp.

May I ask where the octave pip is on your horn's neck? If the neck is original to the horn (thus a 1919), it probably has the pip a fair bit further from the mouthpiece than later models. This most certainly has an adverse effect on the high notes, especially E and F. The effect on altissimo is not as severe, but it still is a difficulty you ideally would not have to face. I mated my 1919 True Tone with the neck from a 1923, and both intonation and response improved immediately. Oddly, the 1923 body was not so picky and played reasonably well with the 1919 neck (so I sold it that way).
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Since I don't have any other C necks to compare to I will attemp to map it out for you. A straight line from the middle of the mouthpiece end of the neck to the middle of the pip is just over
3 3/4". Sorry I don't have a handy metric ruler. If I can't find a silver plate later Buescher neck would an Aquilasax help?
 

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As I stated last year in a thread about mouthpieces...
Sorry adam, I have problems remembering what I said last week, let alone what whistled past me last year - thanks for reminding me... :mrgreen::mrgreen:
 

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Since I don't have any other C necks to compare to I will attemp to map it out for you. A straight line from the middle of the mouthpiece end of the neck to the middle of the pip is just over
3 3/4". Sorry I don't have a handy metric ruler. If I can't find a silver plate later Buescher neck would an Aquilasax help?
As for an Aquilasax neck, I'm afraid I can't tell you... yet. When (if!) i ever get my True Tone back from Martin Mods, I'll be able to say because I bought an Aquilasax neck which I had sent directly to Lance for fitting. I wanted to have a neck that I could use with a direct pickup without risking the 1923 neck.

It SHOULD be possible to get the existing neck altered to the later pip position. For reference, here is a pic of the 1919 body with the original neck:


And here the same body with the 1923 neck:


In the attachment, the necks are swapped (1919 neck on 1923 body, and vice versa), and the picture is low-res and may not help you much, but it's the only one I could find with the two necks and horns side by side.
 

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Mal.
I had exactly the same experience with regard to octave pip position on a Buescher stencil. The pip was positioned some considerable distance from the mouthpiece & was very weak in the palm key range....altissimo however was fine.
I swapped necks with my TT which has the pip far closer to the mouthpiece & all was well...it performed as well as the TT.
I discussed this at some length with cmelodysax & he was, as ever, kind enough to provide me with a neck (a swap) with suitably positioned pip....chalk and cheese.
The only criticism of my Martin C is that the palm key range is not as robust as I would like....& unsurprisingly, the octave pip is a long way from the mouthpiece....Hmmmmm.

By the way Mal....your altissimo G fingering sounds awfully complex....by the time you find it, the moment surely has passed.
My far simpler fingering (listed post#2) works for me on Alto and both C & Bb tenors
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Mal,
Thanks very much for bringing up the neck "thing". I thought I was just lame in my execution of high notes.
I put both images you posted side by side to compare. The lever shape was more evident to me than the pip placement. The lever on my 1919 looks just like your 1919. I desparatly need a post 1919 neck. Do you know what year the pip placement changed? My frustration at the weak D-F has grown for a number of years. The only mouthpiece that lets me play those notes with ease is a Lakey 5 3 and the overall tone is too bright and edgey for me.
 

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Adam - this is another indication of the 'pip position' differences, all three were Buescher C Melody necks I had at the time...



And before you ask, I can't swap any more necks, one of those 'long pips' went to Captain Beeflat as a replacement, and the other belongs to a horn I'm rebuilding, sorry...
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Judging by the picture you sent me, I have a "short pip" (the middle one). The pip is on the curve rather than on the straight. Thanks for sending the picture, it clarifies things. I'll put the word out on the wanted thread. If it's a no-go I still might buy an Aquillasax replacement if it works out for Mal 2 on his 1919. I looked at the picture on the website and the pip seems to be close to the mouthpiece end like "Door # 2". I just want to say that without you guys I would doubt my sanity (more).
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Letter to Aquillasax:
Hey Steve,
I've got a question for you. I have been chatting with the blokes on the CMelody forum. They have enlightened me to my 1919 Buescher C Melody problem. It seems that some necks from that series have octave "pips" close to the mouthpiece and some further back. The "back" ones stiffle the high notes the "close" ones don't. I have a back one and it drives me nuts. If I got a Buescher replacement neck from you would it solve my problem? When you designed that neck how did you come up with the bore and octave pip placement?
Thanks,
Adam
 

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Letter to Aquillasax:
Hey Steve,
I've got a question for you. I have been chatting with the blokes on the CMelody forum. They have enlightened me to my 1919 Buescher C Melody problem. It seems that some necks from that series have octave "pips" close to the mouthpiece and some further back. The "back" ones stiffle the high notes the "close" ones don't. I have a back one and it drives me nuts. If I got a Buescher replacement neck from you would it solve my problem? When you designed that neck how did you come up with the bore and octave pip placement?
Thanks,
Adam
You speak as if some lessons were learnt about 1923 & that every pip placement prior to that was incorrect...not necessarily the case. My Martin is 1929 with the pip halfway down the neck.
In all probability the Aquilasax has the pip at the same point as the 1919 Con on which Steve modelled the Aquilasax.
 

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After increasing the tenon diameter with masking tape, have just tried my Buescher neck, with "long" pip on my Martin which has the "short" pip.
Vast improvement in palm key strength.
Consequently I have just ordered a replacement Buescher neck in satin silver from Steve, which, to judge from his photographs, has the pip far closer to the mouthpiece than the original Martin. I will have to expand the tenon to fit the Martin but the good thing is that I will have a sexy underslung octave rocker.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Letter from Steve,

Hi Adam,
Our curved necks are designed to fit my 1919 Conn C mel.
The Buescher fit is 0.22 mm narrower in the shank.
Our Buescher owning customers seem happy!

Br
Steve.
 
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